Review: The real rogue state. An alternative dossier on US imperialism

BLAIR CLAIMS that his "dossier" on Iraq justifies the US and Britain going to war and forcing a ’regime change’. "Rogue State", William Blum, is a "dossier" – with detailed references, many from official sources – on US imperialism.

"Rogue State, a guide to the world’s only superpower" by William Blum.

The real rogue state

An alternative dossier on US imperialism

Blum shows how the Defence Department outlined US imperialism’s post cold war policy in a planning paper in 1992: "Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival. "We must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role."

Since World War Two, the US has overthrown, or attempted to overthrow, 40 governments as well as organising, leading or supporting the crushing of 30 nationalist movements.

American armed forces and special operations forces, such as the Green Berets, are being deployed in well over 100 countries. US nuclear missiles are still stored in seven European countries.

Weapons of mass destruction

IN THE 1940s, 60,000 US military personnel were used as human subjects to test mustard gas and lewisite (blister gas).

Most were not informed and never received medical follow-up. They were threatened with imprisonment if they discussed these experiments with anyone, including wives, parents and family doctors.

From the early 1960s, US forces sprayed tens of thousands of tons of herbicides (particularly Agent Orange) over three million acres of Vietnam as well as Laos and Cambodia.

This polluted Vietnam with 500lbs of dioxin, a nearly indestructible pollutant and one of the world’s most toxic substances. Three ounces in the water supply could wipe out New York’s population. On top of that napalm was used in wars in Korea and Vietnam and reportedly Sarin nerve gas in Laos in 1970.

In the 1990s the Pentagon admits that it exposed nearly 100,000 of its own US soldiers to trace amounts of Sarin gas in the Gulf War.

US imperialism has waged sustained economic, chemical and biological war on Cuba. In 1962, they contaminated sugar exports and infected turkeys with a virus (killing 8,000). In 1971, they infected pigs with African swine fever. In 1996, they caused a plague of pesticide-resistant plant-eating insects affecting corn, beans, and other crops.

Exporting lethal weapons

A US Senate Committee report says that from 1985 to 1989 American suppliers exported biological materials to Iraq – materials that UN inspectors later found and removed from Iraq’s biological warfare programme!

These exports included plans for chemical and biological warfare production facilities and chemical-warhead filling equipment. Iraq was reported as engaging in chemical and even biological warfare against Iranians, Kurds and Shi’ites from the early 1980s. Blum notes: "Presumably, Iraq’s use of these weapons against Iran is what Washington expected would happen."

Depleted Uranium, (DU) used in tank cartridges, bombs, rockets and missiles is denser than steel and can penetrate tank armour. It is radioactive (forever), upon impact forms an aerosol of fine particles that can be carried downwind for 25 miles. When inhaled or ingested it can lead to many cancers and serious diseases.

Hundreds of thousands of acres have been turned into DU weapon-testing grounds in many US states. DU has been sold to Thailand, Taiwan, Bahrain, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Korea, Turkey, Kuwait and other countries. This weapon was used in Iraq and Yugoslavia.

Cluster bombs

EACH CLUSTER bomb contains over 200 "bomblets" aided by little parachutes that disperse them to hit what the manufacturers call "soft targets". If the fail they in effect become landmines.

Up to 30 million bomblets were dropped in the Gulf War; over a million didn’t explode. It has led to over 1,200 Kuwaiti and 400 Iraqi civilian deaths so far.

The Pentagon is working on newer and better cluster bombs, "…suitable for the new millennium. America deserves nothing less."


BLUM CLAIMS that the CIA have been involved in 36 assassination plots since world war two, including Nasser, Castro, Che Guevara, Michael Manley, Ayatollah Khomeini, Qaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Milosevic and even, in 1965, Charles de Gaulle.

War criminals

BLUM SUGGESTS many US Presidents, generals etc for war criminals singling out Ronald Reagan for "Eight years of death, destruction, torture and the crushing of hope inflicted upon the people of El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Grenada by his policies; and for his bombings of Lebanon, Libya and Iran. He’s forgotten all this, but the world shouldn’t."

He also nominates Henry Kissinger. "…(who successfully combined three careers: scholar, Nobel peace laureate and war criminal), behind interventions in Angola, Chile, East Timor, Iraq, Vietnam and Cambodia."

Harbouring and supporting terrorists

US-BACKED Cuban exiles are amongst the world’s most prolific terrorist groups. In 1997, for example, there was a spate of hotel bombings in Havana directed from Miami.

There are numerous air and boat hijackings. Even when perpetrators are brought to trial they are acquitted.

The US harbours state terrorists – government ministers and Generals – from Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, Chile, Argentina, Honduras, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iran and former Yugoslavia. That doesn’t include those the US flew to safe havens in third countries.

In Afghanistan Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to Jimmy Carter in 1979, said that the US began aiding the Islamic fundamentalist Mujahidin six months before the Russians made their move, even though he believed – and told Carter – that "this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention".

Did he regret this action which armed "terror" groups who have gone on many missions including against the USA?

"Regret what? …an excellent idea," he told Le Nouvel Observateur in 1998. Blum notes that the edition sent to the US didn’t include this interview.

A US diplomat in Pakistan in 1996 admitted: "This is an insane instance of the chickens coming home to roost. You can’t plug billions of dollars into an anti-Communist jihad, accept participation from all over the world and ignore the consequences.

"But we did. Our objectives weren’t peace and grooviness in Afghanistan. Our objective was killing Commies and getting the Russians out".

Backing dictators

ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI said in 1979, "I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot…. The question was how to help the Cambodian people(!). Pol Pot was an abomination. We could never support him. But the Chinese could." A million Cambodians died under Khmer Rouge rule.

The School of the Americas (SOA) trained tens of thousands of Latin American military and police in counter-insurgency, infantry tactics, military intelligence, anti-narcotics operations and commando operations.

Under pressure, the Pentagon released seven Spanish-language training manuals used at the SOA until 1991. The New York Times said: "Americans can now read for themselves some of the noxious lessons the United States Army taught … during the 1980s.

"A training manual recently released by the Pentagon recommended interrogation techniques like torture, execution, blackmail and arresting the relatives of those being questioned."

Bombs, spies and interventions

THE US has bombarded 26 countries since World War Two – China, Korea, Guatemala (three times), Indonesia, Cuba, Congo, Peru, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Grenada, Lebanon, Libya, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Iran, Panama, Iraq, Kuwait, Somalia, Bosnia, Sudan, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia.

And they have intervened in France, 1947; Italy, 1947-70s; Philippines, 1945-53 and 1970s-1980s; Albania, 1949-53; Eastern Europe, 1948-56; Germany, 1950s; Costa Rica, mid-1950s, 1970-71; Haiti, 1959 and 1987-94; Guyana, 1953-64; Thailand, 1965-73; Ecuador, 1960-63; Algeria, 1960s; Brazil, 1961-64; Peru, 1965; Dominican Republic, 1963-65 and Ghana, 1966.

Then there was Uruguay, 1969-72; Chile, 1964-73; Greece, 1967-74; South Africa, 1960s-1980s; Bolivia, 1964-75; Australia, 1972-75; Portugal, 1974-76; East Timor, 1975-99; Angola, 1975-1980s; Jamaica, 1976; Honduras, 1980s; Seychelles, 1979-81; South Yemen, 1979-84; Chad 1981-82; Grenada, 1979-83; Suriname, 1982-84; Fiji, 1987; Bulgaria, 1990-91; Albania, 1991-92. Now there’s Peru, Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia, all 1990s – the present.

Blum’s dossier shows clearly that whether it’s on nuclear, biological and chemical warfare or supporting terrorists the world’s biggest threat is US imperialism.

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September 2002